Moggmania, Churchill’s moon men and the condition of the people: Day 3 of my conference diary

  • 2 October, 2018
  • Politics
  • Polling

Can the Conservatives win in Canterbury, Middlesbrough and Midlothian at the same time? The question was debated by fine minds under the auspices of Policy Exchange, whose director Dean Godson declared it the pre-eminent question “of this conference, of our time, of our epoch”. And the verdict? For the analyst and commentator James Frayne “there are nuances… but I think the answer is no.” No such pessimism from Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houghton or Kirstene Hair, “one of the twelve newly elected Scottish MPs who were proud to impose a Conservative government on England last year.” For her, the answer was a clear message: the Scottish Tories were the only Unionist party, so “whether urban or rural, they knew exactly what they were voting for. Some people held their nose while voting Conservative but they did it because they knew what they were getting.” Joe Twyman, former YouGov guru and founder of Deltapoll, stressed the importance of making an emotional connection. And what message resonates most with people on an emotional level – Brexit? The NHS? Housing? No, much simpler: “The Conservatives will make your life a bit better.”

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